The YSRCP government in Andhra Pradesh and the opposition TDP are continuing on a collision course that has ominous portents for the state that is yet to come to terms with its bifurcation in 2014. By placing former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu under arrest the government has needlessly fomented a crisis. It should have allowed TDP to stage its protest instead of attempting to curb it. After all, the right to protest is guaranteed by our Constitution. TDP’s charge of physical violence and coercion of its cadres is an indication of the confrontation spiralling out of control.
YSRCP has come to power with a phenomenal mandate winning 151 of 175 seats in the assembly. But it has appeared defensive right from the outset focussing on digging up potential corruption allegations against Naidu. This conveys the impression that a witch-hunt is a primary focus. This has created a fraught situation most evident in the manner in which the new capital Amaravati, Naidu’s brainchild, has been rendered a ghost town after considerable investment and planning went into its construction.
Chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy had stormed to power on the back of an impressive political campaign where he walked on foot covering several hundreds of kilometres to reach out to ordinary citizens and fan the discontent among people against TDP. Soon he may find the shoe on the other foot if Naidu also replicates the same tack. Having connected thus with people, Jagan needs to focus on development and not primarily on welfare schemes which end up draining the exchequer without comparable improvements in human capital. Jagan must call a truce with Naidu and focus on improving Andhra’s image as an investor-friendly destination, a task left unfinished after Naidu’s exit.